Voices from Syria: Hoda

“In Syria, no one knew who our enemies were. In Homs, the streets were filled with dead bodies, some beheaded, who remained there for several days. I learned that one of my students had been raped for six days and then murdered. I left on the day I saw a woman killed before my eyes. We have suffered a lot.

“We are safe here in Lebanon, but we have left everything behind us. We live in very difficult conditions. The days are all the same: in the morning I get up early, the children go to school and I go to my brother’s tent, which is more comfortable than mine, to warm up and cook.

“My husband tries to find work, depending on to the weather. If it rains, it’s impossible; otherwise, he has a chance. Most of the time, he has been farming potatoes for $10 per day. In Homs, he was an electrician and earned a good living.

“Up to thirty people sleep in the same tent. In mine, there are seven of us. It is wet and we have no heating. Before, I had a flat with three rooms, a real kitchen, a washing machine… My life was easy.

“Here there’s no toilet, and we have barely enough to eat. Every three days, we will pick up a gallon of water from a nearby farm. With this gallon of water, we have to do everything: drink, wash ourselves, wash our vegetables and wash our clothes.

“If the war stops, we will return to Homs without hesitation, to sleep in our own beds. I hope to see a free Homs again one day.”

Hoda is one of more than a million Syrian refugees who have fled the country to escape fighting. We’re working in Lebanon and Turkey to provide food, shelter and relief supplies. Please support CAFOD’s Syria Crisis appeal.

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